What it Takes to Start Your Own Business!

“Starting your own business is easy!” I don’t think anyone’s heard that one before. Starting your own business is anything but easy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t do it! Nothing worth doing ever comes easy, and starting your own business is definitely worth doing. The reward and satisfaction you receive from landing that first client, or making that first dollar for your business will make you forget the sweat, tears, and the many all-nighters you pulled to get your business running. People this day and age sit through years of working in a job that doesn’t make them truly happy or give them inspiration, without even considering the option of starting their own business because it would be “too difficult.”

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I graduated from Richard Stockton State University in 1984 and thinking back to my college days, I never could have imagined that I would be where I am today, running my own successful Internet marketing company (simply because the internet didn’t exist then) MaxExposure Business Solutions. Maybe you’re stuck in that same mindset right now and couldn’t possibly see yourself having your own successful company in the span of the next ten years. I’m here to tell you, YOU CAN! Still don’t believe me? Still gonna go back to that 9-5 job tomorrow that you hate?? I guess I’ll have to work a little harder to convince you so here are 5 reasons why YOU are capable of starting your own business…

YOU have a passion

Whether your passion is going to Major League Baseball games, biking, animals, or antiquing, every passion has an endless list of potential businesses behind it. If your passion is biking, start a biking app that lists the “most scenic” or “most strenuous” biking routes in your area, and maybe even include a part for connecting with other bikers so people with that same passion can meet up and bike together. Love antiquing?? Start an app where antique shops can post new unique products they have in store to encourage people to come shop! No matter what your passion is, you can start a business around it, so jot down the things you’re passionate for and start brainstorming!

YOU have a skill set

pexels-photo-935977.jpegEveryone has a skill set that can help them in starting a business. Your skill set could include communicating well with people, being able to maintain focus, having resilience, being skilled in using technology, or even having the ability to draw or write well. It’s not what skills you have, but knowing how to use those skills to your advantage when starting a business. If you are trying to find potential clients and you’re much better at writing than actually talking to people, then you might choose to send out an email to clients rather than call them on the phone or talk in person. Being able to maintain focus, or having resilience are both attributable qualities to starting a business as there will be many deterrence’s and unexpected challenges along the way that might discourage or distract you from your goals. Every skill, big or small, is a skill that you can utilize in starting up your business.

YOU have resources

The term “resources” can apply to anything from money, people, or business connections, to technology, information, and advice or assistance. Any resource that’s available to you can be helpful in starting up your business. Maybe you don’t have access to enough money to start your business, so you can turn to your other resources such as people, business connections, or technology, to cut costs of starting up the business, or receive investments toward the business. If you want to discuss product or service preferences with your target market and your resources do not directly include people in your target market, you can use your other resources to connect with people in your target market. In starting your own business, there are so many different ways to get each task accomplished, so no matter what resources you have access to, you can think of a way to utilize those resources to accomplish each task.

YOU have your own intuition

pexels-photo-212286.jpegHaving your own intuition is something that is extremely overlooked in business today. There is no way of knowing exactly what you will have to deal with in starting up your own business. In fact the only thing we can be about 100% sure of, is that not everything is going to go according to plan. You have to rely on your own intuition, not only during your unexpected bumps in the road, but just in day-to-day decision making for your business. Gut instinct is a powerful compass, learn to trust it, follow and understanding it…and it will serve you well in business and in life.

YOU want to start your own business!!!

Well, you’ve read my blog this far haven’t you?? You’ve already invested about 6 minutes into starting your own business! Congratulations! Go invest another 10 minutes, jot down some business ideas and let’s get this ball rolling, Onward & Upward!

If your passion is helping small businesses and connecting with people, let US help YOU! Start your own business with the support and guidance from us here at MaxExposure Business Solutions!

Want to learn more!?

The Fears of a Boss Babe and the Journey to Success!

When I agreed to take on an upper level management role in my father’s company, there was the desire to jump right in and get started, being a TOTAL boss at 22; but there was also an anxiousness in taking on a role I was completely inexperienced with. I quickly went from a newly graduated college student, to an upper level management position. I went from being a college student, to training and teaching college students all within a matter of 2 years. I also struggled to find my voice, not coming off as too much of a b*tch, but standing firm and getting my point across. I never had that chance to “dip my toes in the water” as some might say. I cannonballed straight into that water, and started swimming without anytime to catch my breath!!

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Relying on my own instincts and skills, as well as trusting that my dad knew what he was doing in hiring me, I took the job and started working almost immediately. Who knew that this job I was pretty anxious of going into, would result in me growing into the inspired, hardworking, self motivated and confident boss I am today. I couldn’t possibly list everything I’ve learned throughout the past nearly 7 years, but there are 5 essential things I’ve learned that have helped develop me into the successful businesswoman I am today…

 

If you’re gonna cannonball, don’t hesitate…

pexels-photo-618550.jpegOne of the most difficult things to overcome from moving so quickly from college student to boss, is the confidence to hold true to your convictions. This doesn’t just apply to entrepreneurs, or upper level management, but any sector of your business. No matter what department you are in, or what role you have, you are always going to be faced with people who do not think you know as much as they do. It is your responsibility to stand up for your ideas, your intelligence and make them listen. At 22 this was immensely difficult as I didn’t trust myself as much as I should have and felt the need to over compensate by making myself sound tougher, which in turn made me sound rude, condescending, and b*tchy.

You will never feel like a worthy contributor, and they will never see you as one, unless you show them you are. No matter how scared you might be to be wrong, slap on your best poker face, look them in the eye, and give them your opinion. If you’re going to do the job, do it to the best of your abilities.

 

Take the advice and learn from it

No matter what tier of the business you are in, mistakes are inevitable, and learning from them is the only way you will grow. Although you do need to have confidence in your ideas and intelligence, you need to make the decision that is best for the company.

No matter how hard it might be to admit to the new coworker that he or she is right and you think their idea is better, doing so will not only help your company, but make you a better business person. Keeping track of and reminding yourself of your main purpose and motivation in working for that business will increase your value to the company, even if it does mean you don’t move forward with your suggestion. Learning how to best manage people and communicate with customers is something my father and I still work on to this day, taking his advice & constructive criticism on best ways to communicate isn’t always easy though. I have definitely fallen on my face several times, and absolutely stuck my foot in my mouth, but those lessons are the ones I’ve learned the most from.

 

Know your limits

pexels-photo-313690.jpegApproaching any new job, it’s exciting, scary and anxiety provoking all at the same time.  Starting my career as a top level manager, I wanted to do the best I could possibly do, and I soon realized it is extremely easy to get ahead of yourself, especially when you are 22 and think you can do it all. Doing higher quality work is better than doing increased quantity of work. Everyone has their limits, and as you continue your job, you will gradually progress and become more accustomed and comfortable with your responsibilities.

Knowing your limits and knowing when and how to remind yourself to slow down is essential in maintaining high quality work and improving in your job. Make a list of the needed tasks each day of work, complete those accurately and thoroughly, and as you start to have more and more extra time, you can begin to add in those extra tasks. Burning out, when you are an integral part of running your company’s daily activities isn’t an option, so it’s important to stay organized and know when to ask for help.

 

It takes time

Going into my job, I wanted to automatically be an amazing boss and impress my dad and my other coworkers. I came into work ready to learn, and eager to improve.  I have undoubtedly improved by leaps and bounds from where I was when I first began at this company, but I am STILL learning and growing. I could never have imagined I would be where I am today and accomplish all I have accomplished this quickly. Looking back to the first year I started however, I did have doubts as to how much and how quickly I would grow to be able to manage on my own, without my dad holding my hand every step of the way.

Day to day, it can be hard to see the bigger picture, especially when you’re focused in the trenches, but every experience helps you become a stronger leader. Getting to that point where you can look back at all of the progress you’ve made, takes time. No one walks into a new job and is automatically great at it. Even when you get great at one job, you maybe get promoted to a higher level job, and have to start all over again learning that position. Accepting the time that it takes to slowly improve and grow in your job is essential to succeeding in it.

 

Never lose sight of the person you intended to be

pexels-photo-450271.jpegThis is might be the most important suggestion I can give you. If you strive to grow, accomplish great things, increase your knowledge and become a true boss, you cannot lose sight of yourself, or who you are working to be. Its taken me nearly 7 years to get to a point where I am truly comfortable in my skin as a “Boss Babe”, but I am nowhere near the finish line. I still have so much to learn, and I continue to be thrown curve balls as my position evolves, but what I do know is who I am and that I am absolutely where I am meant to be.

 

Life Experiences & Dictation by Aly Grushkin

Copy written by Alli Burns

BRIDGING THE GENERATIONAL GAP IN BUSINESS

It is no secret that there is a big divide within generations in the workforce today. With businesses employing people from mainly three different generations, it is important to learn how to collaborate with each other to bring out everyone’s individual strengths. Between the Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials there is a lot to learn amongst them all, but change can sometimes be a difficult thing to accept and implement.

What makes each generation so different?

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Generations are groups of people born in between certain years. The Baby Boomer generation was born between 1946 and 1964 making them between 72 and 54 years old today. Generation X was born between 1965 and 1984 making this group between 53 and 34 years old. The Millennial Generation was born between 1985 and 2000 making them between 33 and 18 years old.

Each generation shares similarities with current events, trends, crazes, education, technology, and other life situations. Their similar views and attitudes on certain topics bond them close together and makes them different from other generations. The more a business knows about the likes, dislikes, and dynamics of each generation, the easier it will be to integrate them all together in the workplace.

One study looked at primary concerns people have when searching for a job. Older participants (about 64 percent of them) spoke mainly about making money being their highest priority along with learning new skills. The younger generation that was interviewed instead talked about wanting to find a job they genuinely enjoyed doing and one that could make a difference in society (about 57 percent of them). These priorities vary drastically, so it is important to recognize these differences in order to completely understand each generation’s wants and needs in the workplace.

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Old Habits Die Hard

Although there are still many adults in the workforce over the age of 33, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Baby Boomers now take second place to millennials for having the largest generation in the workplace. This means, whether we like it or not, millennial work ethics, ideas, and beliefs will be dominating businesses for a while, and many businesses who are run by older generations have a hard time letting go of the past and adopting the new and innovative ways of the future.

Being part of the millennial generation, I cannot imagine a time where “researching something” meant flipping through an actual encyclopedia instead of asking Siri or “getting directions” was on a paper map instead of built into my car. Everything I do from the moment I wake up including school, work, cooking, and even exercising uses some sort of technological device. Incorporating these kinds of tools into business is a no brainer for me, but it does pose a major problem for many older generation business owners who did not grow up with a cell phone in their hand.

3 Generational Differences in the Workplace

The main conflicts seen in the workforce between millennials and older generations are communication styles, technology, and the use of social media. These three aspects of business are essential to success in today’s technology driven world.

Communication– Communicating with people is vital to human existence but when it comes to different generations, they seem to have some different opinions on the right and wrong ways to do it. This can lead to conflict in the workplace. When it comes to older generations, they are all about formalities and respect. They grew up wearing a suit and tie to work every day and their communication style reflects this as well. They would prefer to send an email with proper grammar and spelling or talk to someone on the phone. Younger generations however are all about the instant gratification, especially when it comes to getting things done and are generally less formal in their day to day lives. Texting and instant messaging are their preferred ways of communicating because it is quick and to the point.

One major misconception is that millennials would prefer to communicate strictly online or use technology rather than speaking face to face. In one study it was discovered that 60 percent of millennials surveyed preferred to collaborate in-person rather than the 34 percent that prefer to use online methods.* This shows that despite the many misconceptions people have of millennials, all generations have similarities between them, and these similarities should be emphasized in the workplace.

Technology– Technology is another major aspect that sets the generations apart from each other. Each generation sees the uses of technology in different ways. Generation X for example views technology as a tool to help them get work done faster or assist them in balancing work and life. They would for instance see it beneficial to use technology to work from home, but they do not see it as 100 percent necessary to have all of the time. Millennials on the other hand use technology for just about everything, and many people unfairly judge that as something negative because they did not grow up with it. Typing away on a smartphone during a meeting might seem distracting or rude, but they could simply be keeping notes or looking up something constructive to add to the conversation.

The reality is that technology is here to stay and will keep growing and evolving. If a business cannot come to terms with this and embrace technology in their business, they will inevitably fall behind.

Social mediaNetworking plays a huge role in business and in today’s world social media is the main way to network and connect with people. Older generations sometimes have an issue with this fact and see social media as more of a curse than a blessing. This view will only hurt a company. Businesses should embrace social media and all of the opportunities it provides. Between Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram a company can grow their business and their brand drastically by simply being present on these platforms.  One study even found that that 71 percent of consumers who have had a positive social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others.**

If you feel like social media might be beyond your skill set, we’re here to help you! Contact us at www.maxexposuresocialmedia.com or email us at support@maxexpoemail.com

*https://www.fundera.com/blog/generation-gap-enhancing-communication-older-younger-generations-business **https://www.dreamgrow.com/21-social-media-marketing-statistics/

Creating a Company Personality using Social Media

Social Media is a great way to reach consumers and inform them of new sales, products, and company involvement in the community. This day and age, it is extremely important to the success of your company that you are active and involved in social media. Social media allows for easy communication between company and consumer.

Consumers contact companies with complaints or comments and questions on products and so on, and the companies can directly respond to their concerns, improving their customer service. Responding to consumer comments and complaints on social media allows the customer to feel heard and valued by the company.

Some companies have also used social media to create personalities for their company, mostly through Twitter and Facebook. This has allowed not only for more contact between consumer and company but has also provided customer entertainment and has increased the social media following of many companies today. Wendys for example, has famous Twitter “roasts” where they respond to customers’ tweets with funny responses which gains them a lot of social media attention.

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After posting their responses to customers, a lot of people retweet or favorite their tweets, expanding their Twitter network and encouraging more consumers to follow their Twitter because their Tweets are entertaining.

The reason why Wendy’s Twitter roasts has gained so much consumer attention is because they have an awareness of what people use their social media platforms for. Twitter for example is mainly used for comedic entertainment or political opinions and comments. Seeing as it is not a good idea to share a company’s political stance as it may cause a loss of consumer support and create backlash, comedic entertainment is a great way to connect with consumers.

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Most funny company tweets are responses to customer complaints and questions. Turning customer complaints, which could potentially give the company a bad reputation, into something funny and entertaining for their followers actually gives the company positive attention in the end.

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Tips for Joining the Trend

If you think your company would benefit from posting these comical tweets to its consumers, it is important that the company abide by these tips, especially if the company does not already have a reputation for posting funny tweets. You want your consumers to actually find your tweets funny and insure that you do not offend people with risky humor.

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To get a head-start on your funny tweeting, your company could create a false consumer account to tweet back at. This avoids risking offending an actual consumer seeing as they may think your company is not taking them seriously or making fun of them. Once you get a couple funny tweets out, consumers will recognize the trend and start coming up with tweets for your company to respond to.

Once you start responding to real consumer’s tweets, evaluate and think through the possible interpretation of your tweets prior to posting them. Having multiple people within your company look at your tweets prior to posting them and getting their opinion on them is a good way to double check and insure minimal backlash and maximum humor.

Creating a Personality

Creating a personality for your company and connecting with consumers on a more personal level will allow them to trust you and support you on a business level. Maintaining easy, efficient online communication with consumers is a great way to improve your customer service and show your customers how valued they are by your company.

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Utilizing your company’s social media account not only for traditional customer service communication but finding innovative ways to provide customers with entertaining social media posts will not only build more positive relationships with you current consumer following, but will grow your consumer following on social media as well.

Every company is different and contains different types of consumers, challenge your company to not only maintain constant involvement on social media, but innovate how you use your social media. By focusing not only on responding to and communicating with your current customers, but attracting new customer attention on social media, your company will maximize the success of its social media involvement and improve its communication with current and future consumers.
Source: https://www.buzzfeed.com/christinajhuynh/15-times-wendys-twitter-was-more-shameless-than-y-2tfa4?utm_term=.ugAMyD12a#.rgmwjgD2v 

Small Business… is BIG Business

Sat. Nov. 25, 2017 is Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is a day created by American Express to commemorate and promote Small Businesses and remind consumers that small businesses are the true back bone of America.

Did you know that according to the 2014 census, there are 29 million registered businesses in America, of which 25 million have “less than” 10 employees, of the 25 million, 22 million claim to have 0 -1 employee (meaning “self-employed”).

Small Business Owner at Restaurant

Small businesses account for 99.7% of all employers (source: SBA.gov), which means that if small businesses “went away”, it would devastate the economy. Supporting local, small and privately owned businesses is critical to our economy, our communities and our nation and not to mention the families they support.

Sure, you can get virtually anything on Amazon (or online), delivered the next day (and soon within hours). However, you can’t get a haircut, a slice of pizza served hot and fresh, gas in your car, a way to fix that knitting mistake or your lawn cut on Amazon. There are many goods and services that you can only get from a local business and it doesn’t take much to support your local business! You can support your local business by just taking a little bit of time out of your day and that effort will always rewarded with a smile from the business owner.

Small Business Owner at Hair Salon

So this Saturday, go out and see how many businesses you can support, but make it your personal challenge to shop local every week, throughout the year. When you engage with the local business owners, you will find them welcoming, informative and grateful.

Shop Small and do BIG things for your local businesses, community and your country.

 

About the Author:

JGJoe Grushkin is a serial entrepreneur for over 35 years. Currently, as the CEO, President and Founder of MaxExposure Social Media, the premier Social Media & Reputation Management Firm on North America, he is growing the business with effective leadership skills and developing a management team to lead in the future. MaxExposure assists small and media sized local businesses in over 80 industries. More information is available at www.MaxExposureSocialMedia.com